Energy or experience? A Democratic winner needs both

There is a lot for Democrats in Texas Senate District 10 to like about both candidates competing for their primary votes.

Biomedical research scientist Allison Campolo, 30, and real estate developer Beverly Powell, 66, are both informed on important issues, and passionate about the opportunity to represent this Tarrant County district that has swung back and forth between Republicans and Democrats in recent years.

Either party could win this seat in the fall.

These candidates agree on many core Democratic issues: the need to increase public education funding; a continued push to expand Medicaid; more accountability for charter schools, and opposition to constitutional carry, the right to openly tote a firearm without meeting the requirements for a permit. They support toll lanes for communities that want them.

They disagree on the state budget’s $800 million that pays to deploy additional Department of Public Safety troopers and officers along the border. Powell supports a combination of state and federal money to provide security there. Campolo says border control should be paid for by Washington, and the state dollars used for underfunded needs like education.

The strongest Democratic candidate in this race would possess the straightforward, energetic presence of Campolo, 30, a Bernie Sanders volunteer, and the experience and service of Beverly Powell, 66. The Party nominee will need the best qualities of both to go toe-to-toe with Republican incumbent Sen. Konni Burton in November.

Most of Campolo’s experience appears to have come from volunteering in campaigns.

Powell has served as an elected trustee on the Burleson school board for the past 10 years and could hit the ground running if the legislature reforms education funding. She’s served on the Texas Wesleyan board of trustees for 17 years, has experience raising money for college scholarships and working with businesses to provide higher education opportunities.

Powell is better equipped to wage an informed debate with Burton over tax incentives offered to lure businesses. She believes government incentives can close deals and create good jobs. Burton opposes government “picking winners and losers” by offering incentives to some.

There is no question Campolo has a lot of talent. She seems to fire up the grassroots voters Democrats need to win.

But because of Powell’s long commitment to education, her leadership in the community, and her apparent ability to get things done, the Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Beverly Powell for the Democratic nomination in Texas Senate District 10.